Help Comparing Bikes (so I can get back on the trail)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help Comparing Bikes (so I can get back on the trail)

    Hello Everyone,

    I used to love to ride wooded trails back in the late 90s and early 2000s (when I was in my teens and early twenties). I had a steel Trek 970 that I put a manitou suspension fork on, and it was awesome.

    It seems like mountain biking has gone through multiple evolutions since then, and I'm a bit lost trying to get back into it. The first step will be to find a bike.

    I would be looking for a size Large, hardtail. I will be primarily doing trail riding, and maybe moving into the world of cross country. I don't anticipate doing much DH, and I figure I can always rent if that becomes a desire of mine. Since this will be my first bike purchase in nearly twenty years, I'd rather not spend too much. Ideally i would spend something in the $500-700 range, but I don't think I would be too happy with what that can buy. After doing some research, it seems that 1000-1200 would be more realistic. That could buy bikes like the Timberjack, the Marin Pine Mountain, Specialized Fuze, and quite a few others. I'd love to find some used examples of those bikes on the market, but they don't seem to exist right now.

    I would like to have your opinion on a bike that I found that is currently going for $499, but was priced around $1000 when it hit the market in 2018. I can't post links, so if you search for "Triumph Mountain XCX," you'll find it. If you can take a look at the specs and tell me how they compare to the bikes in the 1000-1200 range, that would be awesome. Also, if you can point out what the drawbacks to this bike might be, such as a poor component, or something that might not be upgradeable in the future. Another issue is that the frame geometry isn't provided. Do you think this will cause a problem for me?

    Again, I'd love to find a good used bike in the $500-700 range, but they just don't seem to exist in the marketplace right now, or at least not within a 2 hr drive of my home (searched pinkbike, craigslist, various bicycle buy/sell groups on facebook, etc.) Please let me know what you think about that Triumph Mountain XCX as a gateway to getting back out onto the trails.

    Thank in advance for your help!

  2. #2
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    Meh coil fork, quick release instead of thru axles. This bike would be fine for cruising around town or on smoother trails. It wouldn't do so well on anything rough. SLX drivetrain and some of the other bits are pretty nice though. Also a 29er would probably be better foe an XC bike unless you are very short or want a bike you can better maneuver on twisty trails. But ultimately, you get what you pay for. If you plan on riding offroad a lot I would hold out for a good used bike or buy a new bike with a better fork...That said, you may find like many of us here, that you will have so much fun after riding for a while that you want to try new more exciting trails and you will want a new bike (maybe full suspension). So just get a bike that gets you out there and start saving for your next better bike.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your honest assessment.
    I'm 6'0, so I'm looking at a large frame, and 29s are probably a better option, like you said.

    I would actually like to ride some paved trails with my family too though, and since I'm just trying to get back into it, I'm not really sure how much riding I'll be able to do (hopefully a lot). That's why, right now I only want to spend 500+

    Clearly this bike isn't on the same level as a timberjack etc, but it still seems better than anything I can get for 500-750 new. Do you guys think this is true? Is there anything in the 500-750 range that's better than this?

    Again, my preference would be to find a better used bike, but the market is barren.

    Thanks again!


    Quote Originally Posted by Lojack View Post
    Meh coil fork, quick release instead of thru axles. This bike would be fine for cruising around town or on smoother trails. It wouldn't do so well on anything rough. SLX drivetrain and some of the other bits are pretty nice though. Also a 29er would probably be better foe an XC bike unless you are very short or want a bike you can better maneuver on twisty trails. But ultimately, you get what you pay for. If you plan on riding offroad a lot I would hold out for a good used bike or buy a new bike with a better fork...That said, you may find like many of us here, that you will have so much fun after riding for a while that you want to try new more exciting trails and you will want a new bike (maybe full suspension). So just get a bike that gets you out there and start saving for your next better bike.

  4. #4
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    You are making guess on frame sizes , I 'm just under 6' I ride either a med . or a lg. I own both. Comparing parts when you talking about bikes in a price range is kinda waste of time ,a "better" headset vs a "better" hub or hub vs shifter. The other with parts is they wear/break . Bikes are made to meet a price point. What everyone needs is a bike that fits ,the best way to figure that is to ride as many as you can. If you don't want spend more than $700 , don't but be aware that it's much cheaper to buy once than buying something and deciding 6 months later you want a better bike.

  5. #5
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    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181494
    This is $650 shipped in 4 days
    no tax. Has an air fork and 30mm inner width rim wheels. Both better. Wide rims a lot better for traction. Plus better geo. 29 wheels/tires.
    The $1000 model-
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181508
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod183330

    Staying home has made bikes scarce. Out of stock. Get on the email list.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I've read great things about those bikes, but have noticed that they've been out of stock for the past few weeks.
    I wasn't aware of the mailing list, so I'll definitely sign up.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181494
    This is $650 shipped in 4 days
    no tax. Has an air fork and 30mm inner width rim wheels. Both better. Wide rims a lot better for traction. Plus better geo. 29 wheels/tires.
    The $1000 model-
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod181508
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod183330

    Staying home has made bikes scarce. Out of stock. Get on the email list.

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately, I can't actually get on a bike to test the size. This pandemic thing is making us all do some crazy things. ha ha.

    I certainly understand your argument. However, I'm thinking about it from the following viewpoint. I'd rather spend 500-600 now, learn that I love the sport again, learn what I do and don't like, and then spend $2000 next year on a bike that's "perfect" for me with room to grow, and is worth upgrading/modifying as my idea of "perfect" changes. What I'm trying to avoid is spending 1000-1250 now, dislike the bike/sport, or not have enough time to ride, and then have it sit in my garage collecting dust, and then have to try to sell it later.
    This is my reasoning behind trying to spend only ~500 on a bike that would be considered better than a standard $500 bike, because I'm afraid that the shortcomings of a true "$500" bike could just just taint my experience.

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    You are making guess on frame sizes , I 'm just under 6' I ride either a med . or a lg. I own both. Comparing parts when you talking about bikes in a price range is kinda waste of time ,a "better" headset vs a "better" hub or hub vs shifter. The other with parts is they wear/break . Bikes are made to meet a price point. What everyone needs is a bike that fits ,the best way to figure that is to ride as many as you can. If you don't want spend more than $700 , don't but be aware that it's much cheaper to buy once than buying something and deciding 6 months later you want a better bike.

  8. #8
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    Here's a short-term fix while you wait.
    Walmart has a 90 day return policy or a 1 year no questions asked return warranty to buy for a few bucks at time of purchase.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Schwinn-B...lack/153585860
    Check local stores for stock. You can find out stuff riding it on trail.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3vI2bYhCrk

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